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Bursting into the dining hall, Ianus struggled to breathe. Daru and Maya sat at a
table near the door.
“The fool!” Ianus cried out, with tears streaming down his face, “The War
Maiden is here! It’s really here!” Ianus collapsed onto the floor. “The fool won’t listen!
He doesn’t care what I have to say!”
Maya leapt from her seat, her feet hardly touching the ground, as she ran over to
her adopted son. “What vision?” she wrapped her arm around him, “What’s wrong?”
“Ihy’s new ship,” Ianus gasped between sobs, “It’s the Valkyrie, the war
maiden… the vision I had at my Ascension. The pieces are coming together— and that
Kishan… while I looked at it, just lying there on the table. It… it turned into Ihy! He
wasn’t breathing! My God, I think he was dead!”
On his hands and knees, Ianus folded into himself, and rocked back and forth,
chanting, “Why can’t he see? Why won’t he listen to me? Doesn’t he care?” Pulling his
knees into his chest with his arms, he muttered incoherently. He looked up at Maya, and
shook violently. She just stared at him, her eyes misting up.
Ianus looked over at Daru, who just stood there with her hands over her mouth. A
distant pain filled her eyes. She looked past him, and out the door. Following her gaze,
he saw Ihy, standing stoically, and beckoning to Maya with his hand. Her arms slipped
away from him, leaving only a hollow, aching cold where she had been.
She walked over to Ihy and they left in the direction of the library, “It’s always
work!” Ianus screeched, “Just go to your books, I’ll be all right!” Ianus sighed, “Damn
it!” He lowered his head between his knees. “Damn it all!” He screeched. “If he doesn’t
give a damn, maybe I shouldn’t either!”
He heard Daru’s feet stumble. Feeling her sit down beside him, he leaned on her
shoulder. Gently, she ran her fingers through his hair.
“It’ll be all right. Everything’s all right. I’m here,” she whispered softly into his
ear, “I will always be here. Forever and beyond.”
Ianus reached his trembling arms around her, “I know,” he whispered back. “I
don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense.” He inhaled her sweet perfume, and nuzzled
into her arm.
“What doesn’t make sense?” Daru rested her head on his.
Ianus sat up, and looked at her. “For over a month now, Ihy has been
encouraging me to trust my visions, and believe in my ‘gift’. But the moment I do, he
acts like I’m… making it all up.”
“You don’t think he believes your vision?”
“I think he’s too bound up in his new toy to care what I have to say,” Ianus took
her hand, “It’s like he doesn’t take me seriously.”